While this doesn’t sound like any big deal, that member happens to be a 6-month-old Shepherd-mix puppy who has no eyes.
Pitcher John Ely adopted the pup, named Stevie Wonder, on May 25 from Watermelon Mountain Ranch, New Mexico’s largest no-kill animal shelter, where Ely and other players volunteered.
Stevie had been picked up as a stray. One of his eyes was so badly injured that it had to be removed. He was already blind in his other eye, which was severely infected, so it, too, was removed.
“We don’t know for sure what happened to him,” Ely told the Albuquerque Journal, “but he was in rough shape when he first went to the Ranch. They think somebody didn’t want him and just threw him out of a car.”
Despite being sightless, Stevie had no problem adapting to life at the ballpark with his dog dad. Ely told KOB Eyewitness News that his Isotope teammates have become an extended family to the energetic pooch.
Although Stevie does occasionally bump into a wall or take a tumble, the puppy has made remarkable progress.
“He’s pretty amazing,” outfielder Brian Cavazos-Galvez told the Albuquerque Journal. “He already knows his way around the locker room, and you can tell his other senses are really keen. As soon as he walks on carpet, he gets kind of cautious and follows you around. When he gets on grass, though, he goes crazy.”
“He’s got no eyes, but he’s about as happy as they get,” Ely told KOB Eyewitness News. “He’s got a great sense of smell and great hearing. So he kind of sniffs his way around and now it seems like he walks around without any issues at all.”